Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health Initiative seeks to partner with communities worldwide to increase awareness and access to autism services
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Just as collaboration at the community level is vital for GAPH to be successful in a single country, collaboration between countries can lead to rapid change at the regional level. As such, GAPH strives to develop regional networks around the world that foster awareness and to improve training and collaboration between countries. These networks bring together national ministries of health, education, social welfare, and others around a pledge of common goals such as:
- Raising public and professional awareness of autism
- Providing information and resources for parents and professionals
- Collecting public health information to better identify affected individuals and their needs
- Conducting professional training in diagnosis, early intervention and medical care
- Providing evidence-based services for adults as well as children.
- Within the last few years, Albania has mounted a nationwide awareness campaign and opened a state-of-the-art center for providing autism diagnosis and treatment.
- Over the last two years, every Army base in Bangladesh has opened a school for children with autism.
- In India, Autism Speaks has assisted in the translation of important diagnostic tools.
- In the Philippines, Autism Speaks is providing technical assistance to launch a national epidemiology study.
- In Saudi Arabia, government agencies and foundations have invested heavily in autism research and services, even developing a special healthcare card to speed access to services discounts for those on the autism spectrum.
- Hungary, one of the few European countries with a national strategy plan for autism, has 500 schools and 12 residential homes for individuals with autism.
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